"He came down from the mountains, calm and quiet, wearing tattered rags. Didn't speak a single word ...until he attacked. Then his voice boomed like thunder as his fists struck with the speed of lightning. It wasn't until my men lay bloodied and battered on the ground and the strange combatant spoke his last words, that I realized how outclassed we truly were: Not only had he beaten us in battle, but he had crafted a beautiful haiku of the deed as he thrashed us. This was not just a warrior ...this was an artist."
——Lomas Greenwand, Ranger Patrol Leader
Discipline, Power, Transcendence
The Monk is an ascetic warrior who has trained their body into a deadly weapon under the guidance of spiritual beliefs and incredibly difficult physical training. Monks also abstain from nearly all vices, learning to strengthen the mind against outside temptation. Their purpose is to seek the unattainable goal of mastering the body and spirit.
To become a monk, one must be willing to leave behind all material possessions, and all personal appetites. Even those who are capable of such a difficult sacrifice may not be suitable for becoming a monk. Once joining a monastery, their life becomes a regular trial of daunting physical challenges designed to breach the limits of humanoid balance, endurance, strength, willpower and pain tolerance. The intensity of this training molds these people into powerful warriors, untouchable by the forces of chaos and sin. If they fail in their training, it can break them in two, forever being haunted by their weaknesses and shortcomings. The path of the monk is not for the feint of heart, but those who do manage to attain their goal often find that they have become humanoids of limitless potential, and all that remains is to ascend as high as the heavens allow.
It is rare for a Monk to seek the adventurer's lifestyle. They are solitary creatures, sworn to a brotherhood of other recluses. The very principle for which they train demands obtaining from vice and temptation, something that the adventuring life is known to be full of. Some Monks choose this road for just that reason, seeking to better their discipline and inner strength by exposing themselves to the threats of the outside world. If one cannot combat the evil they find just outside their doorstep, then exactly how might they defend their home?
Monks most commonly choose to begin adventuring in order to test their skills. They find that they reach a plateau in their training among their brethren, and realize that to grow, they must find new challenges and experiences. While victory is important, the goal is growth. Achieving a greater understanding of oneself can be accomplished through loss and suffering just as much as victory. As the Monk adventures alongside different beings, combating strange foes, they gain a perspective of themselves and the outside world that is critical to attaining enlightenment.
History and Culture
Monks originally came into existence as a result of a schism within several great churches. These religious orders disagreed on the purpose of faith and how it should be used to benefit humanity. While most declared it was a gift to be shared with the world, a smaller subsection insisted that personal belief and religion were intimately connected. They felt that the best way to reach the divine was to look inside oneself and attain it through intense self reflection and strengthening. So when the orders split, many of the latter took to applying their methods in solitude, having been ostracized from their communities. Centuries later, they re-emerged as the unique and powerful warriors known as monks.
The cultures of Monks are deeply routed in isolationist and religious beliefs. They are friendly and respectful to nearly all they encounter, but also wary and suspicious at first. Monks heavily favor law and discipline over chaos and frivolity; those who cannot exemplify the former principles will quickly find themselves ejected from the order. Monks enjoy peaceful times, meditation art and music just as much as deadly combat and intense physical conditioning. To the ascetic warrior, these two aspects of their lives are one in the same, creating a state of being that outsiders can find both admirable and vexing.
Monks build their strength and skill off of sheer discipline and physical hardship, so they must always be Lawful. Good or Evil can be a somewhat alien concept to a monk, as their perspective on such things is typically limited to the monastery in which they grew up. Evil orders exist throughout the world in nearly equal amounts to the goodly ones, the main similarity being the strict codes of discipline and training they share.
Goodly monks believe that as they draw closer to inner peace, that they may be able to guide others in a similar direction through example or perhaps instruction. Neutral monks are more focused on their personal growth, but may become extremely curious whenever they meet new people, or discover new lands and cultures. They often seek to better themselves in exclusion to assisting others, but this is not done so much out of selfishness as it is a matter of pragmatism. Evil monks believe that mastery of the mind and body is the key to mastering the world. They often try to use their abilities to defeat an adversary they deem as worthy, regardless of the kind of person they are. They may also tend to be somewhat arrogant, seeing their growing strength as proof that they are destined to ascend to even greater heights.
♦ Monk Unarmed Strike – Qi Rank 1 and Up
The monk has a stronger than normal unarmed attack. This unarmed attack becomes more powerful as the monk advances in Qi Rank.
♦ Bonus Qi Forms – 1st Level
You master two bonus Basic Qi Forms
, one with the Tao
keyword and one with the Meditation
keyword. You must still meet the prerequisites for the chosen powers.
♦ Qi Combatant – 1st Level
When making a Melee Basic Attack, Off-Hand Strike or Ranged Basic Attack, you may substitute your Qi Rank for Physical Rank for the purposes of using augments. Additionally, gain access to the Qi Practice skill.
♦ Mind and Body – 1st Level
You may choose to use Wisdom (instead of Strength) to determine your Melee Weapon Attack and Damage, while unarmed or wielding a Monk Weapon. Additionally, you may wield Monk Weapons in your Off Hand and use them with Qi Strike.
♦ Conditioned Mind – 1st Level
You may add your Wisdom AccM to your AC (Hit and Glance), Touch, and Reflex as a Shield bonus (when not wearing armor). If you wield a Monk Weapon with the Defensive trait, it stacks with this bonus.
♦ Qi Strike & Qi Combo – 1st Level
You master the Qi Strike
and Qi Combo
Class Features. The Qi Strike power can be augmented through the use of Taos
♦ Advanced Grapple – 1st Level
You master the Advanced Grapple power for free, even if you do not meet the prerequisites.
♦ Fleet of Foot – 1st Level
Gain a +10ft Class Bonus to Skirmish and Sprint Speeds
♦ Magic Interference – 1st Level
The use of magical items can interrupt the flow of Qi. Your combined Stamina and Resolve allocation for magic items and rituals is limited by your Qi rank. If you allocate an amount higher than this, you are prevented from utilizing Qi Strike.
♦ Flurry of Blows – Qi Rank 4
♦ Ascending Fist – Qi Rank 4
While unarmed or wielding a Monk Weapon your attacks now count as Magical for purposes of overcoming Damage Reduction
♦ Monk Paths – Qi Rank 4 and 7
Whenever you master a power from the Yin or Yang discipline, you gain a point in that respective discipline. Male Monks gain an additional 1 point in Yang and Female Monks gain an additional 1 point in Yin initially. Lastly, Monks of Lawful alignment gain 1 point in Yang and Monks of Chaotic alignment gain 1 point in Yin. It is possible for this Path to change as you gain powers. When you path changes, you lose the features of the old Path and gain the features of the new Path. Additionally, some powers may have augments only available to Monks on a particular Path.
Path of Earth (Balance)
If you have no more than 2 points difference between your Yin and Yang, you are on the path of Balance.
Rank 4: Immune to the Slowed condition. Gain Daze Resistance equal to your Qi Rank.
Rank 7: Immune to Stupefied and Paralyzed conditions. Gain a +4 class bonus to Constitution and Intelligence Saving Throws.
Path of the Moon (Yin)
If you have at least three or more Yin points than Yang, you are on the Path of Yin.
Path of the Sun (Yang)
If you have at least three or more Yang points than Yin, you are on the Path of Yang.
Rank 4: Immune to the Confused and Insane conditions. Also Immune to Mundane Diseases.
Rank 7: Immune to Enraged condition and all Diseases (including Magical, etc). Gain a +4 class bonus to Strength and Wisdom Saving Throws.
♦ Advanced Qi Strike – 6th Level
You gain Advanced Qi Strike
as a bonus power. You must still meet the prerequisites to utilize the power.
♦ Advanced Meditative Form – 6th Level, Qi Rank 4
♦ Advanced Meditation – Qi Rank 6
The monk may activate two Qi Forms with the Meditation
keyword at the same time, combining their effects. The Meditations must be activated at the same time and the cost must be paid for both powers.
♦ Legendary Qi Strike – 14th Level
You gain Legendary Qi Strike
as a bonus power. You must still meet the prerequisites to utilize the power.
♦ Legendary Meditative Form – 14th Level, Qi Rank 6
♦ Mastered Meditation – Qi Rank 8
The monk may activate three Qi Forms with the Meditation
keyword at the same time, combining the effects of all three. The Meditations must be activated at the same time and the cost must be paid for all combined powers.
♦ Timeless Body – Qi Rank 10
Your Qi hardens your body against the effects of aging. You are no longer subject to magical age increasing effects and do not suffer bodily penalties from advanced age. Your natural life span is extended to double that of normal for your race.
Combat Training by Level
1st level, one point in Melee, Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.
2nd level, one point in your choice of the following: Melee Weapon Attacks, Ranged Weapon Attacks, or Parry.
3rd level, one point in Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.
5th level, one point in Melee and Parry.
6th level, one point in Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.
7th level, one point in your choice of the following: Melee Weapon Attacks, Ranged Weapon Attacks, or Parry.
9th level, one point in Fortitude, Reflex, and Will.
10th level, one point in your choice of the following: Melee or Parry.
11th level, one point in your choice of the following: Fortitude, Reflex, or Will.
When your character earns a Class Specialty, you may choose one from the following list.
♦ Armored Ascetic
Gain Rank 2 Armor Proficiency. You may use Monk Class powers (i.e Qi Strike, Flurry of Blows, etc) and other Qi powers while wearing Light armor or less, and you still gain the benefits of Monk Defense while wearing light armor or less.
♦ Expert Tumbler
When you make a Tumble
check to avoid an attack of Opportunity
, roll twice and take the better result.
When you use a power to make one or more melee weapon attacks and miss all targets of all attacks, as a Reactive Action you may attempt to trip one target of the initial attack that is still within your reach: Make an Opposed
grapple check against the target, if you succeed the target is knocked Prone
♦ Hasty Withdrawal
Whenever you are attacked by a creature in melee, you may move your shift speed away from the creature as a Reactive Action. Your movement must end with you further away from the creature.
Once per rest you may reduce your current Recovery Time by up to 5 segments as a Free Action.
♦ Lithe Step
Gain a +5ft Class
bonus to your Shift Speed.
♦ Magical Harmony
You may now allocate Stamina and Resolve for magic items and rituals up to twice your Qi rank, instead of just once.
♦ Mantis Warrior
You may use all Spears, Polearms, and Staves as Monk Weapons.
♦ Meditation Mastery
Reduce the cost of your Qi Forms with the Meditation
keyword by 1 Resolve Burn, to a minimum of 1 Resolve Burn.
♦ Melee Harrier
When you use a power to make one or more melee weapon attacks and miss all targets of all attacks, you may make a Melee Basic Attack against one target as a Reactive Action.
♦ Serpent's Swiftness
When rolling Initiative, roll twice and take the better result.
♦ Tireless Warrior
When you complete a short rest, you automatically regain all of your hitpoints (without needing to burn a Stamina).
♦ Unbalancing Critical
Whenever you attack with an Unarmed Strike, and Critical Strike the target, in addition to the normal effects, you may cause the target of the attack to grant an Opportunity
to a creature of your choice (other than you).